Optus has overhauled its marketing measurement capabilities, implementing a new technology platform built on a strong data foundation. 

After conducting a global marketing analytics & algorithmic attribution services tender, Optus began working with Marketing Evolution, a US-based marketing measurement provider in October 2018.

The aim of the initiative was to adopt a solution which could deliver unified data-led media modelling across all offline and online media channels, Melissa Hopkins, Head of Marketing at Optus, told Which-50. 

Melissa Hopkins, Head of Marketing at Optus

The platform the telco selected offers Unified Marketing Measurement (UMM) which is an “approach to marketing analytics that combines the aggregate and person-level insights offered by attribution models into one holistic measurement.”

“This provides a comprehensive and integrated view into the success of marketing campaigns and their business outcomes,” Hopkins said. 

Previously Optus used both Media Mix Modelling (MMM) and digital Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA) to measure its marketing activity, however, the two methods created “siloed thinking and outcomes” as well as inconsistencies in the two approaches when it came to recommendations and metrics. 

Business Metrics

“At the macro level, our goal was to be able to optimise our total media investment towards business metrics including brand consideration, demand generation and sales – not just media metrics. We also wanted to be able to quantify the true business case for marketing by measuring our Return on Ad Spend and profit generated,” Hopkins said. 

“At a practical level, our aim was to understand the role of each media channel in driving towards the various outcomes, both in terms of efficiency and impact.”

Hopkins said privacy was at the centre of the platform and throughout the process ensured that every single data set required to calculate marketing ROI is privacy-compliant. 

“We worked with eight external data and technical vendors and aggregated data from a variety of Optus CRM systems. It required global coordination with teams in India, the US, UK and here in Australia. 

“Due to strict data privacy guidelines, data couldn’t leave Australian shores, so we had to build new infrastructure which enabled remote access and prevented any data leakage.” 

From there, Optus built data pipelines to its media agencies, customer data platforms, survey providers, identity solution providers, internal Optus IT & CRM systems and piped the data into the Australian Marketing Evolution platform. 

The whole process took over a year to set up and implement. Being governed with infosec & privacy controls at each stage, the data is kept highly secure and non-personally identifiable.” 

Across the globe, there have been movements from regulators to restrict how marketers and advertisers collect and use consumer data. In Australia, the federal government has made an in-principle decision to reform the Privacy Act in 2020-2021 along the lines of the recommendations made by the ACCC in its Digital Platform Report. 

While digital tools have made it easier to reach customers, Hopkins argued marketers mustn’t lose sight of the need to build loved and trust brands. 

It is hard work really getting to know and understand your customers – whilst tech, digital marketing and tools can absolutely assist with that – it still requires human intervention to work out the best approach, the best creative messaging, the actual consumption moment in which they will see the message, is it about building a short term sales results or building a longer term brand relationship.” 

“Clickbait is easy and lazy marketing – ensuring that you fully understand the benefit of digital marketing but continue to build loved and trust brands is a much bigger and more sophisticated task. Marketers need to work hard at that.”

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